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Richard J. Szymczak, 78, a former Buffalo-area businessman, died Saturday (Dec. 25, 1999) in Estelle's Hospice House, Ocala, Fla., after a brief illness.

A Buffalo native, Szymczak owned and operated two Food Town markets in the Town of Tonawanda and one in Cheektowaga for more than 20 years. He sold the stores in 1978 and moved to Fairfax, Va., where he worked as a purchasing agent for Land Development Construction.

In 1986, he retired and moved to Ocala.

A World War II veteran, Szymczak served in the Army's 95th Signal Corps in the European Theater. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

He was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala.

Szymczak is survived by his wife, the former Phyllis M. Okoniewski; a son, Allen R. of Baltimore; a daughter, Paula K. Quagliana of Ocala; a sister, Irene Kay of West Seneca; and two granddaughters.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Queen of Peace Church, Ocala. Burial will be in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell.

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